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Fox says HMV is back from the brink

By | Published on Tuesday 31 May 2011


HMV is “back from the brink”, CEO Simon Fox has told games industry magazine MCV.

Keen to draw a line under months of speculation about the entertainment retailer’s future, caused by profit warnings and admissions the firm is likely to fail the terms of its multi-million bank loans, Fox says the sale of the Waterstones chain for £53 million will allow his company to move on.

Fox: “The Waterstones sale is a turning point. We went through a very tough restructuring, but that is behind us. We still have to get the bank facility in place and we need shareholder approval for this transaction. That will all complete, I expect, by the end of June. And then we will be free to drive the business forward and become an entertainment brand across all channels”.

Looking forward, he continued: “We need to continue to invest in our stores. We want to continue to grow our share in games. We are going to increase in-store space for technology products such as iPads. We need to build our online and digital presence. And then we have actually had a good year and a good quarter with our live division. We had some 16 per cent growth with our music venues. It is an evolution at speed. We need to change the mix of what we sell and we need to do that quickly”.

Noting the rampant press speculation about his company in recent months, Fox added that he hoped the Waterstones deal and resulting restructure of the firm’s loans would bring to an end predictions of his company’s imminent demise, letting him get on with the entertainment group’s reinvention. Yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breath.